Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala yesterday said the Department of Agriculture is giving the Negros Occidental provincial government a multi-million liquid nitrogen and semen processing plant to be built at the Negros First Ranch in Murcia to boost livestock production in the province.
Alcala, who spoke at the 79th Philippine Veterinary Medical Association Annual Convention and Scientific Conference held at the L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City, also said his department aims to make the Philippines self-sufficient in rice by 2013.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon said he is very happy that the programs outlined by Alcala in his speech jibe with the food self-sufficiency and agriculture targets of Negros Occidental.
Alcala is the most down-to-earth and practical agriculture secretary, who is also advocating organic agriculture like Negros Occidental, he added.
The liquid nitrogen and semen processing plant will allow for the storage of semen of large animals such as sheep, cattle and carabao for insemination and to genetically improve livestock, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said.
The plant will also allow for the segregation of semen, and determine male and female offspring, during artificial insemination, he added.
Alcala also promised to help the provincial government in the training of paravets and to give breeder animals, Decena added.
In his speech Alcala also said local officials like Marañon make his job easy, noting the amount of work the provincial government has invested in improving agriculture in Negros Occidental.
Alcala noted that Negros Occidental is one of the few provinces in the Philippines with a Triple “A” standard slaughterhouse.
He also said that aside from the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award given to Negros Occidental, the province is now the leading poultry producer in Region VI and will soon be the “Lamb Capital of the Philippines”.
Alcala further commended the governor’s initiative in promoting college scholarships for agricultural courses and veterinary medicine among the Negrense youth.
He rallied the veterinarians at the conference to boost the production of livestock to meet the food needs of the Filipino people and to keep meat safe for consumption.
Meanwhile, the Negros Occidental Sanggunian Wednesday passed on first reading an ordinance setting the price for sheep recently purchased by the provincial government from Australia for propagation in the province.
The proposed rates for the sheep, including their transport cost from Australia and other fees, is P20,000 for males and P16,000 for females, Provincial Administrator Enrique Pinongan said.
Of the 5,840 sheep that recently arrived from Australia, the provincial government is selling some to local government units and to private breeders in the province, and keeping other for breeding, he added.
A public hearing on the ordinance on the sale of the sheep is expected to be held next week, Pinongan said.*CPG